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Taping the Feet

Develop taping skills with each part of your foot. And then practice on your friends and with your teammates.

Ball of the Foot

The easiest method of taping the ball of the foot is to take a long strip of full-width tape and place it, adhesive side up, on the floor. Place your foot on it at a right angle, with the trouble spot dead center on the tape. Then flatten your foot to make it as wide as possible and pull the ends of the tape up, either overlapping them on the top of your foot or cutting them an inch up on either side of the foot. Cut the tape at the forward edge of the ball of the foot so it does not contact or cut into the crease at the base of the toes or the toes themselves.

Bottom of the Foot

You can tape the bottom of the foot from the ball of the foot to the heel or any section. Apply your choice of tape from just behind the bend of the toe base, centering the tape on the bottom of the foot from front to back. Have equal edges on the inside and outside of the foot. Trim the front edge to follow the contour of the toe base, avoiding the crease. Bring the back edge up the heel and fold over on each side, like a gift wrap, making a dart. Cut the fold flush with the foot, leaving two edges just meeting in a V pattern. Next, tape the side of the feet.

Sides of the Foot

Once the tape is affixed to the bottom of the foot, then add tape to the sides of the foot. Apply a 2-inch piece around the foot from one side to the other. Slightly overlap the edge of the bottom of the foot tape. Trim the edges to avoid rubbing at the toe crease and anklebone.
If you find the bottom edge of the tape catching on your socks, put this layer on before taping the bottom of the foot. Then tape the bottom of the foot so that tape overlaps the side of the foot tape. This method keeps the overlapping tape in the direction of the force of motion as described earlier.

Bottom of the Heel

Remember when applying tape to the bottoms of your feet or heels to grasp the toes of the foot and pull back to stretch the skin to its fullest. Otherwise as you run or walk, the shear forces will loosen the tape and may cause additional blisters.

Start with a large patch of tape covering the entire heel; attach it with both the foot and ankle flexed forward and up (pull your toes toward your shin). Take a long strip of 1-inch width tape (or cut to a 1-inch width), cover the forward edge of the patch under your foot, and bring the ends up to overlap on top of the foot. Take another medium strip, cover the edge on the back of your heel, and bring the ends around the ankle to overlap on top of the first strip. When applying the tape, lay the strips on the skin. Applying them too tightly can impair circulation.

Sides of the Heel

Many times, feet blister at the area where the insole meets the inside of the shoe. The side of the heel can be taped by either running a piece of tape around the back of the heel or under the heel from side to side. With either method, cut the tape into a V as necessary to avoid folds in the tape. Try to avoid taping over the two anklebones.

The Toes

The 1-inch Kinesio Tex tape is great for toes because it molds well and is stretchy. Micropore is also good for toes. Tape only the last two joints, avoiding the crease at the base of the toes. Roll the tape around the toe, overlapping over the toenails for a double-layer but keeping a single-layer on the sides of the toes. Fold the excess over at the tips of the toes, pinching the top and bottom together. Since both tapes are stretchy, the overlapping of the tape is not an issue here as it is with duct tape. Cut off any wrinkles or corners of the tape with sharp scissors, so it conforms to your toe perfectly. After the entire toe is covered like a glove, apply with the swab another layer of the tincture to seal the tape ends. When the toes are finished, bend them back and forth to make sure they feel good and not restricted.

A proper taping on toes or larger areas should appear like an extra layer of skin on the foot-no lumps or bumps. If any corners bunch anywhere, pinch them together and cut excess flush with small scissors. Sometimes tincture needs to be applied again to keep corners and edges down.

The alternative method of taping toes is a two-piece tape job. First, tear off a small strip and use it to wrap from the base of the toenail around the tip of the toe and to the bottom of the toe even with the end on top, leaving two free ends. (Omit this step for toes that don't blister at the tip.) Wrap another strip around the circumference of the toe, covering the free ends of the first strip, if it was used. Have the two ends meet but be sure to try to avoid overlapping them on top of the toe. Always use a large enough strip to cover the toe's “knuckle joint” so that both outside edges are too small to slide over the joint and cause the tape to bunch off or slip off the end of the toe. Never extend the edge far enough down that it will dig into the tender skin between the toes. For taping against toenail friction, tape the receiving toe, rather than the offending nail.

Between the Toe & Foot

This important method comes in handy for those hard-to-tape areas at the base of your toes or between the toes. Cut a small blister pad of your choice and place it firmly over the area or blister. Fasten it in place with a slightly larger square of tape. Take a long thin strip of tape and run it diagonally, corner to corner, between your toes from the top of your foot to the ball of your foot. Take another long, thin strip and do the same with the two remaining corners. Now you have a pad on the blister, the pad protected by tape, and the whole thing held firmly in place by the four strips attaching the corners to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Now, anchor these strips with the single piece described for the ball of the foot, and the most difficult blister of all is fixed.


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